Meanwhile, English newspaper The Guardian is reporting that Chelsea striker Samuel Eto’o will head to the Galaxy for next season, snubbing former AEG president Tim Leiweke who wanted him to land in Toronto, although another top name is allegedly not heading to Southern California despite media reports.
Still, the Galaxy appear to be clearing salary cap space for some big off-season signing.
Out the door Monday went the likes of the retiring Pablo Mastroeni, who has unsurprisingly called it quits on a 16-year MLS career that saw him make just a dozen bit part appearances for the Galaxy after leaving the Colorado Rapids, as well as starting defender/midfielder Sean Franklin, mid-season Chivas USA pickup Laurent Courtois and sparingly used veteran Colin Clark.
Franklin, who made $248,333 last season, is one of several big names in Thursday’s annual re-entry draft, although it’s unclear if he really is departing the franchise or the Galaxy simply want to re-work his salary. The Galaxy have yet to respond to my calls seeking more information:
Most observers predicted a tight one goal game and that’s what we got in the first leg marked by a moment of brilliance that will live long in the memory.
Still, it’s only halftime and I’ll have more on the Galaxy and the MLS playoffs in general in Tuesday’s column.
Incidentally, Chivas USA announced Friday that striker Jose Manuel Rivera — who has made all of three starts for the Goats this season — will miss Sunday’s game and the rest of the season after undergoing surgery for a fractured left foot he suffered Thursday in training.
It was typical Chivas USA, getting a goal in front on a storybook restart to an MLS career by the re-signed Brian de la Fuente and then caving in to Dallas pressure with an evaporating defense that had goalkeeper Dan Kennedy looking appalled (and rightfully so).